February 28, 2018

Virtual reality, gender diversity, fake news and free speech to top ABA meeting in California

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2018 — Communications experts participating in the 23rd Annual Conference of the American Bar Association Forum on Communications Law will explore hot-button topics, including the legalities of virtual, augmented and diminished reality, the impact of fake news, and the legal challenges of monitoring online content, among many other issues, March 1-3 in Napa Valley, Calif.

Representatives from CNN, NBCUniversal, Facebook, Microsoft, Sirius XM, Apple, Associate Press, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Gannett, CBS, Fox Entertainment Group, Warner Bros., Netflix and HBO along with federal agencies and top-ranked law firms will tackle trending communications legal issues.

23rd Annual Conference
Sponsored by the ABA Forum on Communications Law

Thursday-Saturday, March 1-3

Silverado Resort & Spa
1600 Atlas Peak Road
Napa Valley, CA 94558

The Champion of Freedom Award, the Forum’s highest honor, will be presented to John P. Borger, of Minneapolis. The award is given to those, “who have devoted their careers to the defense of the free expression of ideas.”

Program highlights include:

“Fake News: Rights, Risks And The Role of The Media In A Duplicitous World” — As claims and counter claims in the world of “fake news” continue to evolve, this session will answer these questions: What are the domestic and international implications of fake news?; What risks are posed when persons and powers, foreign and domestic, plant fake news stories about matters of public concern?; What are the risks of liability when the press is duped by fakers foreign and domestic?; Are social media companies taking appropriate steps to reduce the spread of fake news?;  What legal remedies are available to news organizations whose intellectual property is hijacked by purveyors or phony stories?
Friday, 9:15-10:45 a.m.

“Managing Online Content: Legal V. Social Responsibilities” — How are companies managing comments on their site? What are the legal perimeters around live streaming a murder or suicide? What legal and ethical issues are involved with objectionable content on platforms like social media, from sex trafficking to revenge porn, hate speech to copyright infringement?  A panel of experts will discuss the debates over policy as to how web providers should manage websites and the role of corporate and social responsibility.
Friday, 11-12:30 p.m.

“Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Diminished Reality: Do You Really Know What They Are? Can You Spot the Legal Issues?” — Panelists will discuss the legal challenges of creators and users of the latest technological trends involving virtual, augmented and diminished reality. A history of the technology, key legal issues involving property rights and likely trespass issues when it comes to location-based games such as Pokémon Go will be discussed.  The panel will also explore First Amendment issues, virtual advertising, biometric privacy issues involving facial recognition, trademark and patent issues.
Friday, 1:15-2:15 p.m.

“The Gender Diversity Imperative in the Legal Profession and Strategies to Interrupt Unconscious Biases for Inclusion and Success— Media law issues from women and men working together to legal implications and vetting requirements for news stories reporting on sexual harassment and sexual misconduct allegations will be the focus of this panel discussion. The featured guest on the panel is Joanne Lipman, the author of That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them) About Working Together.
Saturday, 12:30-2 p.m.

A complete agenda can be found online.

This event is free and open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at Betsy.Adeboyejo@americanbar.org.

Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that cites case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.